Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We give thanks to God for your steadfast following of Oxygen.
As we enter into the Paschal Mystery of the Church, we invite our readers who want to help contribute a reflection to come forward.
The following readings are available for reflection:
7th Reading + Responsorial Psalm
Epistle + Responsorial Psalm
This is a good time for you to share with our readers the joys you have had in reading Oxygen. Do drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org who will be in touch with you on how to proceed.
Oxygen Core Team
Thus says the Lord: Now I create new heavens and a new earth, and the past will not be remembered, and will come no more to men’s minds. Be glad and rejoice for ever and ever for what I am creating, because I now create Jerusalem ‘Joy’ and her people ‘Gladness.’ I shall rejoice over Jerusalem and exult in my people. No more will the sound of weeping or the sound of cries be heard in her; in her, no more will be found the infant living a few days only, or the old man not living to the end of his days. To die at the age of a hundred will be dying young; not to live to be a hundred will be the sign of a curse. They will build houses and inhabit them, plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
Jesus left Samaria for Galilee. He himself had declared that there is no respect for a prophet in his own country, but on his arrival the Galileans received him well, having seen all that he had done at Jerusalem during the festival which they too had attended.
He went again to Cana in Galilee, where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a court official there whose son was ill at Capernaum and, hearing that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judaea, he went and asked him to come and cure his son as he was at the point of death. Jesus said, ‘So you will not believe unless you see signs and portents!’ ‘Sir,’ answered the official ‘come down before my child dies.’ ‘Go home,’ said Jesus ‘your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus had said and started on his way; and while he was still on the journey back his servants met him with the news that his boy was alive. He asked them when the boy had begun to recover. ‘The fever left him yesterday’ they said ‘at the seventh hour.’ The father realised that this was exactly the time when Jesus had said, ‘Your son will live’; and he and all his household believed.
This was the second sign given by Jesus, on his return from Judaea to Galilee.
Be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating
We all think that we know best, but God constantly reminds me that ‘In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.’ – Proverbs 16:9.
I have been going through a period of drought in ministry life and was praying if it was time for me to move on. I questioned what my contributions were, how I was adding any value and, if my ‘gifts’ were of better use in some other ways. I was complaining no end as to why things were so ‘lacklustre’, so cold and empty and kept asking – so what is the leadership doing about this? I was angry and disappointed with people within the ministry for refusing to do their part. How proud that sounds but that was how I felt.
Our spirituality centre and also many of our ministries are going through a dry period. Early this year, our ministry leaders called for a meeting among some of us, to plan the way forward. Long story short, I find myself now a part of the leadership team – a team that will steer the ministry forward. How funny God is. It’s His way of saying ‘Quit complaining, do something!’ So now I am not in a position to ask what ‘the leadership’ is doing. Today’s first reading tells us that ‘I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.’ In a chat with a friend, she told me that perhaps we need to just let things naturally happen – that it is from ashes that the phoenix can rise.
Life throws us curve balls. And very often, in trying to make sense of it, we long for the turmoil to be over. We muster up all we have to pick ourselves up and move forward, we make plans to gain control of the situation. We are so busy making things happen that we actually overlook what is happening in the present. We let ourselves get into a frenzy. We pray that God will help us and change the situation. Nothing. Then we get discouraged and wonder if God actually heard us. But God knows everything and hears our prayers. I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. Sometimes, we need to simply let go and stop controlling; allow ourselves to go through the process of frustration, impatience, admit that there is so much we didn’t know and let go of trying to figure things out.
Just like what my ministry is going through, perhaps in our own lives, we need to let God take over and execute His plan. Even if it means letting everything burn to the ground (and that’s very scary I know), and like the phoenix rising from the ashes – we will be reborn, renewed, and very much alive. Remember my brothers and sisters, God says ‘I am about to create new heavens and a new earth’ Can we take courage and know that whatever situation or circumstance we are going through will pass?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Geraldine Nah)
Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we keep asking for signs & wonders. We pray for deeper faith, and courage to take a closer walk with you. Help us Lord, to trust in your greater plan.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for healing the broken and wounded parts of our lives. Thank you for your promise of new heavens and new earth. That the old ways shall pass and we can look forward to fresh new starts every single day as long as we stay close to you. Come Lord Jesus, come.